SAINT JOHN– After a successful year on Saint John’s Long Wharf last summer, Loyalist City RibFest will be moving this year– just down the road.
The event, taking place June 13 to 16, will be held at the Lower Cove Terminal, located just past Port Saint John’s Diamond Jubilee cruise ship terminal on Water Street.
Organizers announced on the festival’s Facebook page earlier this week that it could not hold the festival on Long Wharf this year because the port needs the area for commercial activity.
“Long Wharf was intended to be the location and the Port had agreed to that. However, they have cargo coming in now and that’s their business,” said festival committee chair, Peter Wilkins. “Hosting events is not their business, cargo is, so the timing was just off.”
Port Saint John helped organizers secure the new spot. Wilkins said the new location works just as well for the event.
“It’s large and it’s open,” he said. “It has room for parking, which is one of our prerequisites because at Long Wharf, we had a lot of parking available and the parking is available by donation-only so people can come in and give a donation and park.”
This year’s event will feature four “pit masters” along with an Indian food truck and other vendors selling thing such as poutine, pretzels, ice cream, lemonade and more. Thirteen live acts are scheduled to provide entertainment throughout the event.
Despite the quick change of venue, Wilkins said organizers are happy that the event will remain uptown this year.
“We really wanted to stay uptown. We would like to be part of the whole uptown feeling,” he said. “There’s an energy uptown these days and wanted to be part of that, so it was really important for us to try to find a location uptown or close to uptown. When you really look at it, I think it’s as close to uptown as Long Wharf is, so we’re quite happy with it.”